Hotel Security: Even the better ones have security problems
Most room safes have two opening codes: a master code is used by the hotel to open the safe when the guest forgets their number and a second, setup by guests to open on their favourite number.
Obviously the Caravelle, part owned by Saigontourist - itself a Ho Chi Minh City company, has a problem securing the master codes.
What to do?
Take all your valuables to the front desk and get a DETAILED receipt. This applies to ALL HOTELS. Seal the goodies in an envelope and initial over the flap.
The detailed receipt is proof that you gave the property to the hotel - the hotel is responsible in law for these goods.
It is best to leave valuables DURING DAYTIME HOURS as they will be placed in a safe usually under the control of senior management.
The Caravelle, on Lamson Square in SaiGon, experienced an explosion early in 2009 emanating in its basement from accumulated gasoline and methane fumes. Partly government owned it regularly receiving awards - sponsored by government entities - so 5 stars don't count for everything. A better property is the Park Hyatt opposite.
What's a Thorn Tree?
Is it like the tree I saw in Manila with all the garbage sticking to it like leaves?
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